Does This Smoke Have Long-Term Health Effects?

SACRAMENTO -- The Camp Fire continues to burn in Butte County, bringing smoky conditions roughly 80 miles away in Sacramento.

The poor air quality, among the worst in the world, has forced schools to close and driven people inside.

"Really with this range of bad smoke, I think everybody is a little bit concerned about their health risks," Dr. Nicholas Kenyon, chief of pulmonary care at UC Davis, told FOX40.

Kenyon with UC Davis says the smoke is particularly hazardous for people with asthma, heart disease or weakened immune systems.

But really anyone can see impacts.

"Health risks in the short term will be irritant effects. Irritant eyes, runny nose, cough, scratchy throat, maybe a hoarse voice," Kenyon said. "The longer this goes on people get concerned with getting an illness like a cough or bronchitis."

As far as the long-term impacts though, Kenyon says that’s unclear.

"We’re doing research in the area. We don’t know the answer right now. Most of the studies show there’s not any longterm health risks," he said.

He says more research needs to be done.

For now, he recommends staying indoors if you can, with windows and doors closed, and wearing an N-95 mask if you have to be outside.

Those with central air should consider changing their air filter.

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